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Stereopony In San Francisco

» Articles, Features, Convention / Event Reports | posted by Brian on 06/4/2012 [Discuss]

Anime fans might be familiar with the Japanese band Steropony who have contributed opening and ending songs for series such as Gundam 00, Tegami Bachi, and the second season of Darker than Black. Formed in 2007, Stereopony has quickly gained popularity and currently consists of vocalist and guitarist Aimi Haraguni, bassist Nohana Kitajima, and drummer Shiho Yamanoha. They were joined by supporting guitarist Mao for the tour. Stereopony is no stranger to the United States with appearances at SXSW in 2009, AnimeNEXT in 2010 and Anime Boston in 2011. Their third album, More! More!! More!!!, was released in December and the two Limited Edition versions include a DVD with footage at either AnimeNEXT or Anime Boston.

Stereopony stormed the west coast starting off in Seattle for Sakuracon and then heading south to California for shows in San Francisco, West Hollywood, and Santa Ana before heading back to Japan. The Sakuracon concert was simulcast via Nico Nico and both free and premium members were able to watch them no matter where in the world they might live.

Unable to make the trip to Seattle, I was elated to learn that they would be heading to San Francisco and made sure to clear my schedule. In fact, San Francisco received a Stereopony double shot with an in-store show at Amoeba Records on a Monday followed by a full concert at mainstay venue Slim’s on the following Tuesday.

I got to Amoeba Records just as the sound check was going on and pushed to my spot just in front of the stage. People were strewn about the CD racks and in the aisles. The set lasted about an hour and I enjoyed it as short as it might be. Consider it a teaser for tomorrow night. A meet-and-greet occurred after the show with anyone who purchased the Limited Edition of their newest album, More! More!! More!!! guaranteed autographs and a bit of time with the band.

Left to right: Shiho, Nohana, Aimi

Tuesday presented on and off rain throughout the day. At around 7pm I filed in with the rest of the attendees after picking up my photo pass from the ticket booth. The night would start with opening act All Ages, a San Francisco punk band who have opened for Japanese veterans like The Pillows and Noodles. They had fun out there, adding balloons to the mix as well as having bassist Tom Yamashita jumping among the crowd and even onto the bartop. For tonight their album A New Kind of Citizen was free and they had plenty to go around.

Tom Yamashita of All Ages

A minute past nine marked Stereopony’s entrance onto the stage to a full crowd and rousing applause. They started off with the familiar “effective line” before launching into the rest of the set. This was roughly twice the length of the Amoeba set and included a mix of both old and new songs and included all of their anime-related songs to date. Fans would constantly jockey for position to be as close as possible to their favorite members but it never felt like I was in a mosh pit. A few of the attendees I was near had forgone earplugs and while they could barely hear, they declared it was worth it. I had made sure to bring mine, especially important since I was right next to one of the speaker stacks.

With any luck they’ll be coming back to the United States again and a venue near you. The girls returned to Japan to finish off the More! More!! More!!! tour which bookended their U.S. tour dates.

Here’s the setlists for both the Amoeba Records and Slim’s show:

Amoeba (4/9/2012):

1. effective line (Hydrangea ga Saiteiru)
2. I do it (Hydrangea ga Saiteiru)
3. Stand By Me (new single, not yet released)
4. Tsukiakari no Michitsurube (OVER THE BORDER) (from Darker than Black)
5. Viva La Viva La (More! More!! More!!!)
6. Hoshikuzu Kantera (OVER THE BORDER)
7. Hitohira no Hanabira (Hydrangea ga Saiteiru) (from Bleach)

Count by album:

Hydrangea ga Saiteiru: 3
More! More!! More!!!: 1
single: 1

Slim’s (4/10/2012):

1. effective line (Hydrangea ga Saiteiru)
2. Sweet Blue (Hydrangea ga Saiteiru)
3. Hana Hiraku Oka (More! More!! More!!!)
4. Chiisana Mahou (More! More!! More!!!) (from Tegami Bachi Reverse)
5. Super Girl (More! More!! More!!!)
6. fuzz (Darker than Black - Tsukiakari no Michitsurube single)
7. Never Look Back (OVER THE BORDER)
8. Namida no Mukou (Hydrangea ga Saiteru) (from Gundam 00)
9. It’s a wild world (Tegami Bachi Reverse - Chiisana Mahou single)
10. Hanbunko (OVER THE BORDER)
11. stand by me (new single)
12. Tsukiakari no Michitsurube (OVER THE BORDER) (from Darker than Black)
13. I do it (Hydrangea ga Saiteiru)
14. Viva La Viva La (More! More!! More!!!)
15. Hoshikuzu Kantera (OVER THE BORDER)
encore. Hitohira no Hanabira (Hydrangea ga Saiteiru) (from Bleach)

Count by album:

Hydrangea ga Saiteiru: 5
More! More!! More!!!: 4
single: 3

A very special thanks to Sony Music’s Ryu Nakamura for giving Animesou this opportunity.

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